2022 World Junior Hockey Championship: Team USA preview & roster

The defending champions lose a lot of talent, but will be a team to watch this year.

The World Junior Hockey Championship is one of the hardest tournaments to repeat as champions. The last nine years have seen three different countries win the tournament (Canada, United States, Finland) three times, but none of them have won it back-to-back. In fact, the last back-to-back champion was Canada during their five-year run from 2005-2009.

This time the Americans return to Edmonton and Red Deer as defending champions, and will look to reverse that streak.

The first thing you’ll notice with this American team is the sheer talent they are missing. Spencer Knight, Matthew Boldy, Trevor Zegras, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Alex Turcotte are among the players who have graduated but there’s still enough talent here to expect them to cause trouble.

Team USA final roster

#Player PositionLeagueCurrent team (NHL)
29Drew CommessoGNCAABoston University (CHI)
30Kaidan MberekoGUSHLLincoln Stars (2022)
1Dylan SilversteinGUSHLUS Development Team (2022)
14Brock FaberDNCAAUniversity of Minnesota (LAK)
43Luke HughesDNCAAUniversity of Michigan (NJD)
5Wyatt KaiserDNCAAUniversity of Minnesota-Duluth (CHI)
25Tyler KlevenDNCAAUniversity of North Dakota (OTT)
2Ian MooreDNCAAHarvard University (ANA)
23Scott MorrowDNCAAUniversity of Massachusetts (CAR)
3Jack PeartDNCAASt. Cloud State University (MIN)
8Jake SandersonDNCAAUniversity of North Dakota (OTT)
10Matthew BeniersFNCAAUniversity of Michigan (SEA)
21Brett BerardFNCAAProvidence College (NYR)
18Logan CooleyFUSHLUS Development Team (2022)
15Matt CoronatoFNCAAHarvard University (CAR)
71Tanner DickinsonFOHLSoo Greyhounds (STL)
16Dominic JamesFNCAAUniversity of Minnesota-Duluth (2022)
89Matthew KniesFNCAAUniversity of Minnesota (TOR)
28Chaz LuciusFNCAAUniversity of Minnesota (WPG)
34Carter MazurFNCAAUniversity of Denver (DET)
12Sasha PastujovFOHLGuelph Storm (ANA)
11Mackie SamoskevichFNCAAUniversity of Michigan (FLA)
20Redmond SavageFNCAAUniversity of Miami (Ohio) (DET)
19Landon SlaggertFNCAAUniversity of Notre Dame (CHI)
96Ty SmilanicFNCAAQuinnipiac University (FLA)


The strength of this American team this year is the defence. They have three players from last year’s gold medal team back — Ottawa Senators draft picks Jake Sanderson and Tyler Kleven, and Los Angeles Kings second-rounder Brock Faber. Those three should be expected to play big roles, and that doesn’t factor in prospects like fourth overall pick in 2021 Luke Hughes, and Scott Morrow who join this year’s team.

The defence is deep, and with two top-five picks in Sanderson and Hughes, has significant top-end talent as well.

Seattle Kraken first-round pick Matty Beniers leads an intriguing group of prospects that includes fellow first-round picks Chaz Lucius (Winnipeg), Mackie Samoskevich (Florida) and Matthew Coronato (Calgary). It doesn’t quite have the same bite as their group a year ago, but there still is some top talent up front, and you can expect them to be among the tournament’s top scorers.


The depth of their forward core definitely takes a step back from where it was a year ago, but with intriguing prospects like Redmond Savage (yes, Brian’s son), Matthew Knies, and 2022 Draft Eligible Logan Cooley, they have the potential to create some secondary scoring. They will be missing Thomas Bordeleau, who was removed from the roster after a positive COVID-19 test before the team left for Canada.

The big question mark on this team is in goal. After being spoiled with both Spencer Knight and Dustin Wolf on the roster, it is an inexperienced group that leads them this year. 2020 Chicago Blackhawks second-round pick Drew Commesso is the likely starter. The Boston University goaltender is the oldest of the three goaltenders on the roster. Joining him is a pair of undrafted players, USHL goaltender Kaidan Mbereko and 17-year-old US Development Team goaltender Dylan Silverstein.

All three have save percentages around the .900 mark with their club teams this season.


Keep a close eye on returning forward Brett Berard. The New York Rangers fifth-round pick had five points in last year’s tournament, which was more than Beniers (who had three). Defender Faber also had five points last year.  Berard has 12 goals and 12 assists in 21 games with Providence in the NCAA, and at 5’9” could be the next undersized forward to shine for the Americans at the tournament.

Logan Cooley is projected to be selected in next year’s top-10, and is the youngest American skater. The talent is there, and he will lead a group of players who will look to create secondary scoring. Cooley has 38 points in 27 games with the US Development Program.

If the American goaltending isn’t as good as it was under Knight, the secondary scoring will need to step up. It’s going to be a more physical team than a year ago, and they’ll likely have to work for every advantage. Nine of their skaters are 6’1” or taller.

Even with questions with their goaltending, their defence is really good and attacking forwards may not get into enough dangerous positions.

All in all, the Americans will be in a battle for the top of their group with Russia and Sweden with Slovakia and Switzerland lurking and always primed to cause an upset. The prize for winning the group, or even finishing second is the third or fourth place team in Group A, which means avoiding Canada or Finland.

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